Remote or Traditional Work Models? What is the Best Model for Business in 2021 and Beyond


As we have seen, 2020 introduced us to the unexpected new normal.

It seems like everything moved online, from socializing to doing business and educating yourself.

Businesses especially are reevaluating almost every aspect of how they do business, including their work model, asking whether they should be moving from a traditional work model to a remote one.

Many companies were already moving toward remote work, and this trend was greatly accelerated by the pandemic.

This model has many advantages, but it also comes with its challenges, as many businesses discovered.

So, what is the most suitable work model for business in 2021 and beyond? Let’s take a look.

4 Main Benefits of The Remote Work Model:


Necessity meant that many businesses were thrown into the deep end when it came to the remote work in 2020. Many had to learn these lessons the hard way, but with a little preparation, they don’t need to be a huge issue.

1. Standardizing the Benefits.

Onsite gyms, office perks, and free breakfasts have been the benefits enjoyed by employees in traditional workplaces in recent decades.

However, these perks are almost entirely absent in remote workplaces, so it is important to offer alternate benefits to keep employee motivation high.

The best approach is to ask for team members’ suggestions, and tele mental health services are certainly one to consider.

Working from home can put additional burdens on worker as they struggle to balance work, family, and personal commitments, and it is important to provide adequate mental health support.

2. Business Culture.

By now, many businesses have already developed a remote friendly culture to facilitates procedures, schedules, and processes for working from home.

This involves ensuring all necessary tools, virtual communication platforms, and dedicated apps are available to employees to keep everything on track.

Meeting the deadlines and maintaining productivity is one of most challenging aspects of the remote model, as well as monitoring employee output.

3. Borderless Hiring.

One of the best things about the remote work model is that you are no longer limited by geographical constraints and are able to hire talent from across the globe.

The elimination of geographical barriers will let you set your business up with a diaspora of employees with a range of skills and knowledge, which is a huge advantage.

More diversity typically results in better ideas and powerful decisions.

4. Lower Expenses.

A fully remote model allows businesses to reduce a range of running costs, including rent, office supplies, and more.

Salaries, however, are slightly more complex. Some companies reduced the salaries of their employees as they moved to a remote work model, and were heavily criticized for doing this.

As a business leader, you must think about the employees’ satisfaction otherwise motivation may suffer, and with it productivity and output.

3 Main Benefits of The Traditional Work Model:

Even as many companies move to a remote work model on a permanent basis, others prefer to maintain and more traditional model where staff work from a central office or offices. Similarly, this model has its own pros and cons.

1. Health and Safety.

One of the most important responsibilities of any company is to look after their employees’ wellbeing.

This means complying with all relevant health and safety regulations, which have only tightened up in the context of the pandemic.

Businesses must now take steps such as implementing hygiene regulations, deep cleaning of the workspace and installation of equipment such as a hand sanitiser dispenser in every workspace. Apart from the threat of infectious diseases, there are other considerations such as safe laptop screens and anti glare glasses to avoid potential headaches and eyesight issues.

2. Performance Tracking and Supervision.

Performance tracking and supervision are arguably easier in traditional business models.

Meeting deadlines and maintaining productivity and output is a huge challenge in the remote model.

Rescheduling tasks has been a major practice during this year but most businesses have managed to overcome the issues by quickly implementing the right tools.

For 2021 and beyond, the traditional business model still is a good option for effective supervision and performance tracking.

3. Data Protection.

Data protection and client confidentiality are also arguably easier under traditional work models.

The remote work model requires the installation of secure systems, data privacy tools, and networking privacy on workers’ individual work equipment, and even then unintentional and even intentional negligence of employees remains a huge risk factor.

This is arguably the most significant factor that keeps businesses in favor of the traditional work model.

No matter how comfortable you may be with the traditional work model, it is important to consider the new normal, and way up the pros and cons of remote and traditional ways of working. A hybrid work model, which combines both approaches, may be the solution.